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Over this past year, McDonald Hopkins has achieved significant savings for its clients through appealing tax assessments in multiple counties throughout the State of Ohio and other jurisdictions throughout the United States. In one case, McDonald Hopkins was successful in reducing the fair market value of one client’s property by approximately $9 million. While the real estate market has started to climb back, it is not too late to explore if you can take advantage of potential cost savings since property tax bills in Ohio are issued in arrears.

For tax year 2013, 11 counties in Ohio underwent a reappraisal year, which happens every six years and is known as a “sexennial reappraisal.” This means the county auditor examined the value of the real property as of January 1, 2013 and determined the amount of property taxes payable during the 2014 calendar year. The counties included in the 2013 sexennial reappraisal year are as follows:

1.  Carroll    7.   Medina 
2.  Champaign                     8.   Miami 
3.  Clark  9.   Ross 
4.  Fairfield  10. Union 
5.  Logan  11. Wyandot                
6.  Marion   

Furthermore, 12 counties underwent a triennial update, which means a computer system automatically updated the taxable value of the property located within the county:

1.  Adams 7.   Meigs 
2.  Columbiana                       8.   Monroe 
3.  Hancock  9.   Paulding 
4.  Hocking  10. Scioto 
5.  Holmes  11. Tuscarawas                
6.  Lawrence  12. Washington

If you believe your assessed value is too high, as determined by the county auditor, the property owner may challenge the amount by filing a tax appeal.

What does the tax appeal process entail?

The process starts when the property owner receives the tax bill for tax year 2013 (this will come in January of 2014). If the property owner feels that the assessment associated with their property is too high, McDonald Hopkins can file a complaint with the Board of Revision within the County where the property at issue is located. The complaint states the basis for why the property owner believes the property to be overvalued. If the property owner is a company, in most situations an attorney must sign the complaint. Next, McDonald Hopkins will work with the property owner to hire an appraiser to conduct an appraisal of the property to determine if, in fact, the property has been overvalued by the county. If the appraiser determines that the property has been overvalued, the appraiser will generate a report that describes the value of the property as of January 1, 2013 and substantiates the reduction in value. Within several months of McDonald Hopkins filing the complaint, the Board of Revision will set a hearing, where the respective attorney will appear with the appraiser and provide testimony as to why the property is overvalued. The Board of Revision will then render a decision.

An Important Date to Remember: March 31, 2014 is the last day complaints related to a 2013 tax bill may be filed with the respective county Board of Revision. This leaves the property owner with little time—under three months—to determine if a complaint to the Board of Revision is necessary. Therefore, as soon as the property owner receives the 2013 tax bill, they should start the above-described process to allow adequate time to prepare the complaint.

Our attorneys have experience preparing and filing complaints with the Board of Revision, the county entity that reviews and hears challenges regarding property valuations, and our attorneys have appeared before Boards of Revision throughout Ohio. McDonald Hopkins has also developed a network of outside professionals, such as real estate appraisers, who can assist in preparing evidence to support a challenge for presentation before the Board of Revision. In the event the property owner is dissatisfied with a ruling from the Board of Revision, our attorneys have litigated matters before the Ohio Board of Tax Appeals and the Ohio Supreme Court, as well.

NOTE: Past performance does not guarantee future results.

If you would like to explore your options for an appeal please contact:

David M. Kall 
216.348.5812
dkall@mcdonaldhopkins.com

Jason M. Smith
216.430.2033
jsmith@mcdonaldhopkins.com

Ann M. Hunt
216.348.5741
ahunt@mcdonaldhopkins.com

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